Blue Jays Walk off on Historic Night in BuffaloÃÂ
When the Buffalo Bisons organization made a push to bring the Major Leagues to Buffalo, they titled their proposal to baseball 'Buffalo: A Natural for Expansion.' On Tuesday night at Sahlen Field, in the first MLB game in the Queen City in nearly 105 years, Buffalo got its Hollywood ending.
Travis Shaw's RBI single with the bases loaded in the 10th inning gave the Toronto Blue Jays a 5-4 walk-off win over the Miami Marlins and officially put Sahlen Fields in the Big League record books.
Shaw's clutch hit came with the bases loaded with pinch runner Anthony Alford, the Blue Jays player who scored more times with Buffalo than anyone else on Toronto's roster, trotting home for the game-winning run.
After a three-week journey that saw the Blue Jays organization fantastically transform the home of the Bisons into a Major League ballpark to the amazement of fans and media throughout the baseball world, it was finally time to play the first MLB game in Buffalo since September 8, 1915. The Blue Jays, donning their 'New Blue' uniforms, became the first Big League teams to take the field in the history of Sahlen Field and used Shaw's extra-inning heroics to pick up the win in the Home Away From Home Opener.
Shaw already had his name in the Buffalo record books and in Cooperstown. The third baseman picked up the first MLB hit in Sahlen Field history with a single into right with two outs in the first inning. An authenticator from the Baseball Hall of Fame already confirmed that the ball was headed up the NYS Thruway.
The Blue Jays would eventually take a 3-1 lead thanks to a trio of players who made their way through Buffalo before hitting The Show... just like the ballpark. Danny Jansen doubled off the wall in left to lead off the bottom of the fifth and Cavan Biggio followed with another extra-base hit in the same direction, missing a home run by about a foot. Jansen, who was tagging up at second, could only make it to third base.
But that didn't matter four pitches later when Bo Bichette hit a towering fly ball that carried once again out to left. This one, however, cleared to wall for Bichette's third home run of the season.
An inning later, it was a pair of former Bisons that squared off as the Blue Jays' produced their fourth run. Facing Marlins closer and 2019 Herd teammate Justin Shafer, Biggio lined a two-out single into right field to score Randal Grichuk.
That lead stood until the ninth inning when Miami backstop Francisco Cervelli got the green light on a 3-0 pitch from Blue Jays closer, Anthony Bass. With two on and two out, Cervelli clubbed his third home run of the season to tie the score.
The Marlins, however, failed to score their free base runner in the 10th as A.J. Cole got another former Bisons player, Miami infielder Jon Berti, to line out with two runners on. That set the stage for Shaw to win the game in the bottom half of the inning.
Alford, who scored 50 times in 89 games with the Bisons, was inserted in the game at second base and moved to third on Jansen's sacrifice bunt. Marlins reliever Stephen Tarpley then pitched around Biggio and issued a free pass to Bichette to load the bases. Shaw's game winner came five pitches later.
Hyun Jin Ryu started for the Blue Jays and was excellent with seven strikeouts in six innings of work. The southpaw allowed just two hits, one of which was a second-inning home run from Brian Anderson.
Toronto hosts the Marlins again Wednesday night with top Blue Jays prospect Nate Pearson in search of his first big league win.
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International League Stories from August 11, 2020
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